Sunday, October 27, 2013

Spectacular Inauguration of Asian Couture Federation (ACF) and Stephane Rolland Show Set The Tone For the Couture Showcase at Fashion Week 2013

Following up from a Japanese fashion high on Day 5, Day 6 of Fashion Week 2013, presented by The Shoppes at Marina Bay Sands and organised by FIDé Fashion Weeks, gathered more momentum on Monday at the Sands Expo & Convention Centre.

A historical moment for Asian Couture was established with the Inaugural Ceremony of the Asian Couture Federation (ACF) that took place at in the evening with the attendance of all the board of governors and members, comprising of 10 inducted designers from all over Asia, namely Guo Pei (China), Junko Koshino, Keita Maruyama, Yoshiki Hishinuma and Yumi Katsura (Japan), Michael Cinco (Philippines), Frederick Lee (Singapore), Lie Sang Bong and Songzio (South Korea), and Vatit Itthi (Thailand).

In front of more than 70 local and overseas media, designer members were presented with certificates after a short session of Q&A. A champagne toast was raised to mark this milestone occasion before everyone was ushered into the Fashion Hall to view a fashion installation featuring the works of these ACF designers.

As more guests poured into the Fashion Hall, the atmosphere started to lighten up with much laughter, smiles and posing for the photographers.

When seated at the Crystal Ballroom (named so as the room has 27 shimmery Swarovski crystal chandeliers), about 370 guests were treated to a four-course dinner, specially-prepared by the world-renowned Japanese chef, Hide Yamamoto. The menu consisted of a starter of herb marinated salmon and sweet shrimp confit with seasonal vegetable and homemade pickled anchovies lightly drenched in citrus vinaigrette; soup of smoked potato bisque with Hokkaido seafood and truffle scallop, abalone, snow crab and soy braised fatty tuna; the main course of roasted wagyu beef sirloin with gochujang and sea urchin butter, star anise flavoured hijiki seaweed and the dessert of Japanese sweet cone sauce with ichigo parfait, yuzu shaved ice and strawberry soup with vanilla ice cream.

The night’s first entertainment was the encore performance from Miyoka Shida (who performed on the previous evening), where she showcased her high level of concentration to balance a feather on top of several different lengths of curved sticks.

In recognition of his significant contributions to the arts and literature, the Chairman and Founder of FIDé Fashion weeks and Founder/President of Asian Couture Federation, Dr Frank Cintamani, was given the Chevalier de L’ordre des Art et des Lettres by Mr Benjamin Dubertet, Ambassador of France to Singapore. This award is one of the three grades awarded to up to 200 people a year, which includes famous personalities from across the world of the arts - including fashion design, film and music, literature, art.

As guests finished their sumptuous main course, it was time for the highly-anticipated Haute Couture showcase by Stephane Rolland. As the lights dimmed with only a spotlight on the circular platform in the middle of the room, celebrated flamenco dancer, Rafael Amargo, emerged and kick-started the show with his dramatic and energetic footwork. As the rhythm picks up, gazelle-like models floated past, one by one, in Stephane Rolland’s Fall/Winter 2013/14 Haute Couture collection. 

Keeping in momentum to Amargo’s energetic foot-taps, the models were a nice poetic compliment. Sleek, elegant and fluid, the gowns were mostly in black and midnight with a pop of pristine white and cobalt blue. Rolland exhibits a sure hand with origami-like details and his use of sheer and opaque materials teases easily without showing too much skin yet still exuding a sensual allure.

Coming was his range of shoes (for his media interviews, he was wearing a pristine white leather sneaker with his signature sculptural motif in pure gold and ceramic acting as a buckle).

Creating the make-up look for this evening was Mr Romero Jennings, M.A.C. Cosmetics’ Director of Make Up Artistry, North America. Hair styling for this evening was the team headed by the celebrated hair maestro Stephen Low, with his 7-man team from Neville Hair and Beauty London. They are here in Singapore specially to be a part of Fashion Week 2013. Low is the go-to guy for stars like Gwyneth Paltrow, models Rosie Huntington Whitely and Lily Cole. He also does work for Vogue, Harper’s Bazaar, Vanity Fair, Glamour and is an in-demand stylist for editorial and advertising campaigns (Topshop and Vivienne Westwood amongst them).